- Types of services offered
Using a team based approach, PICO provides short term consulting services for the complex challenges faced by start-up and second stage firms. Postdocs are highly skilled in conducting rigorous research and filtering through complex issues to formulate objective, research-based recommendations. Each team is made up of 2-3 consultants that will address the needs of your company. Projects typically completed within 2-6 months and each team member will commit 5-10 hours per week. There is no fee for our services.
Past projects have included:
Business plan drafting
FDA regulatory assessment
Identification of in- and out-licensing partner companies
Market research analysis
Price sensitivity analysis
SBIR grant preparation
- Who do we help?
The PICO group works with companies, large and small, on projects that have the potential to impact company growth and development. Our target market is start-up and second stage bioscience companies.
PICO consultants leverage their scientific critical thinking skills to provide research-based, actionable business recommendations on key projects for regional biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms. In return, client companies will offer a practical experience for business-minded postdocs in an industry setting.
- Benefits to postdocs
At the Medical College of Wisconsin, postdoctoral fellows are at the forefront of scientific research. The results of our work have the potential for global impact. For those who plan to transition to industry after the postdoctoral fellowship, PICO is an excellent opportunity to gain first-hand experience in industry and work on projects that positively impact local bioscience firms.
Working in highly integrated 2-3 person teams, consultants develop their business acumen, enhance soft skills, broaden their professional network, and enhance their knowledge of the business of science.
PICO places an emphasis on postdoc development. Many of our consultants are academics who are simply curious about bio-business, while others are working to hone their skills as they look to transition to industry. As a team, we participate in monthly development workshops, small group discussion, and large conferences where we rub shoulders with industry leaders from all over the world. Former members have gone on to become consultants, product specialists, bench scientists, and patent agents.
- Former PICO members - Where are they now?
Mohammed Aldakkak, MD
Jason Bader, PhD
Field Applications Scientist
Jason Bazil, PhD
University of Michigan
Sheldon Garrison, PhD
Director of Pediatric and Rare Diseases
Adam Gastonguay, PhD
Nelson Mullins, LLP
Hector Ahlers Guillen, PhD
Texas Biomedical Research Institute
Madelyn Hanson, PhD
Brian Hoffmann, PhD
Medical College of Wisconsin
Elizabeth Liedhegner, PhD
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Laboratory Manager II
XiaoQian Liu, PhD
Pharmacology and Toxicology (MCW)
Leadership Team Member, Consultant
Jered McGivern, PhD
Ion Moraru, PhD
Quarles and Brady, LLP
Prahlad Rao, PhD
Texas Biomedical Research Institute
Ben Stengel, PhD
Léna Borbouse Watanabe, PhD
W.L. Gore & Associates
Aortic Product Specialist
Dustin Whitney, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Minde Willardsen, PhD
Market Research Analyst
Elizabeth Zakszewski, PhD
Ling Zhong, PhD
Clinical Research Coordinator I
Michael Zickus, PhD
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
When was PICO established?
PICO was established in 2011 by Dr. Philip S. Clifford (former MCW faculty member, currently at UIC) and Lena Watanabe (former MCW postdoctoral fellow) after a series of long discussions and meetings with selected industry representatives. They then recruited two more postdocs, Sheldon Garrison and Mike Zickus, to participate in the first PICO project.
How many companies/projects has PICO completed?
Since our establishment, we have completed over 30 projects for 16 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Our results have had a deep and meaningful impact for our clients who range from start-ups through well-established corporations.
How much does PICO charge for its services?
Nothing. PICO services are pro bono. Our payment is considered fulfilled by providing our consultants with hands-on experience and networking opportunities in exchange for actionable business recommendations. On occasion, some clients have been asked, or have offered, to present a workshop to the group on a variety of business related topics.
How does PICO train its consultants?
In addition to hands-on training through consulting projects, PICO regularly brings in guest speakers from various areas of business and biotech to speak on topics such as product valuation, finance, intellectual property, project management, regulatory affairs, etc. Knowledge and best practices are also shared among members in monthly meetings, which insures the flow of knowledge from senior members to new consultants.
PICO has also supported its members in attending national business-related meetings such as BIO, AUTM, and Bioforward. Through extensive networking and training, former PICO members have gone on to high impact positions in both industry and academia. Check out our former members!
- PICO in the News
A Postdoc in Transition: Experiences and Lessons Learned Along the Way
Appears in The Postdoc Way, a blog and resource for postdocs
Young Science Scholars Try Out Consulting As a Professional Plan B
Appears in Vitae, an online career hub for academics